We come to our 8th and final negative verb in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness (sin).
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
Love doesn’t rejoice in our sin or the sin of others. As a matter of fact, we hate our sin. As believers, our sin should cause us to repent, not rejoice. The sin of others should cause us to pray for them, come alongside them, not have an attitude of oh well at least its not me.
Sometimes we do talk about other peoples sin don’t we?
Rejoice is χαίρω chaírō (khah’ee-ro) to be happy, to be glad. Agape love does not take delight in any sin, because all sin is an offense to God. It does not rejoice when troubles come to another person, even when it’s a result of their own foolishness that caused them to sin in the first place.
Love never does that!
Unrighteousness ἀδικία (ad-ee-kee’-ah) (adikia from a = negates + dike = right) is a condition of not being right with God, or according to what man knows to be right.
To rejoice in unrighteousness (sin) is to justify it, and how do we justify it? We talk and rejoice about it with others, causing us to gossip, and gossip is a sin. Click here to see What is Gossip?
Those who gossip, speak about the sin, faults, and failures of others. They do it without their knowledge or approval. Proverbs 20:19 says to avoid these people who go around talking about others. Think about it, if they’re gossiping about others in front of you, they are probably gossiping about you, too.
True love isn’t like that, even when the rumor of sin turns out to be true, love doesn’t take pleasure in the misfortunes of others. Instead, what does Paul say we should do?
Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.Galatians 6:1-3 [Emphasis Mine]
Peter says in 1 Peter 4:8…
Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
...and that’s the truth!
Love rejoices with every triumph of the truth.